From Ashima Shiraishi, one of the world's youngest and most skilled climbers, comes a true story of strength and perseverance--in rock climbing and in life.
To a rock climber, a boulder is called a "problem," and you solve it by climbing to the top. There are twists and turns, falls and scrapes, and obstacles that seem insurmountable until you learn to see the possibilities within them. And then there is the moment of triumph, when there's nothing above you but sky and nothing below but a goal achieved.
Ashima Shiraishi draws on her experience as a world-class climber in this story that challenges readers to tackle the problems in their own lives and rise to greater heights than they would have ever thought possible.
Teen author and climber Shiraishi doesn't just scale rocks she solves problems, "which is to say, I make them mine." In crisp, vibrant spreads, Xiao, making her picture book debut, shows Shiraishi confronting a massive rock face. "Once I had a problem and it stretched into the sky," she writes. The next spread shows the boulder covered with images, visual mnemonics to help her along the way. "One part was arched like a question mark, another part stuck out like my father's elbow... and another was shaped like the bolts of fabric stacked in my mother's sewing room." Now Shiraishi starts climbing, using no ropes. Vignettes show her at each hold, twisting, pushing, grasping. Then she falls, hard. She takes a break, taking in "the new information the fall had given me. Each fall is a message, a hint, an idea." She climbs and falls again until, eventually, she scales the wall. When problem-solving is a necessary part of any process one that informs and aids in resilience the specter of failure disappears. Xiao's cleanly outlined forms and intensely saturated hues show Ashima honing analytical skills whose power reaches beyond the climbing wall to the rest of life. Ages 4 8.